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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  June 26, 2021 2:00pm-3:00pm PDT

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we sure hope you're right. thank you to you both. "politicsnation," by the way, is going to continue this conversation in just a couple minutes when reverend al sharpton is joined by george floyd's brother, philonise floyd, and the floyd attorney, ben crump. i'm yasmin vossoughian. i'll be back in the chair tomorrow 3:00 p.m. eastern. the rev and "politicsnation" starts right now. good evening and welcome to "politicsnation." tonight's lede, crimes and punishments. right now we're not questioning if justice was done, but how much of it, as former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin begins his nearly 23-year prison sentence handed down friday for the murder of george floyd. it's been met with conflicted
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responses from black communities asking why the foremost symbol of american police brutality will be eligible for parole in a decade and a half. but if nothing else, there is now a modicum of closure for the floyd family, hopefully. still, that does not absolve our nation from seizing this reform moment. our law enforcement leaders need to reflect on the growing rifts between police and community. our prosecutors need to guarantee that no one is above the law or below it. and in just a moment, i will talk to civil rights attorney ben crump and george floyd's brother, philonise. about the void of federal action as our republican lawmakers continue to stifle the police reform legislation generated in george floyd's name.
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of course, even that conversation begins and ends with the vote. and as the chauvin trial saga was closing yesterday, attorney general merrick garland was firing the opening shot in our national war over voting rights, filing suit against the state of georgia over its voter suppression laws and calling on congress to restore the very protections that one of the state's most famous sons, john lewis, fought and ultimately died for. that is where we begin tonight. joining me now, georgia congressman hank johnson, a democrat and a member of both the judiciary and infrastructure committees. congressman, derek chauvin received just over two-thirds of the maximum sentence allowed under state guidelines, 22 1/2 years versus a 30-year maximum
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that many of us thought he deserved for george floyd's murder. yet even in that disappointment is the acknowledgment that the verdict and the sentencing are outliers in our history. so if you're in the civil rights fight, you compartmentalize. but you don't settle. i say this with the george floyd justice in policing act in mind, because, as i said after the verdict yesterday, there is a fine line between compromising and selling out. and the floyd bill must remain strong because, as you saw yesterday, even the most visible symbol of police violence in america will still be eligible for parole in 15 years. can this bill pass with the teeth it really needs, congressman? >> well, reverend al, thank you for having me. and thank you for seeing the
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george floyd case through from beginning to end. unfortunately, the saga of young black people being killed unarmed by law enforcement officers using excessive force will continue and i'm sure that you will continue to be on the job to make sure that the public is aware and stays focused on doing something about it and the george floyd justice in policing act is a way that can go about bringing some accountability to these police officers. they need to be able to stop and think for a second that even if i'm on video and doing things like i don't care, i can be held accountable. maybe i will get sentenced to the maximum for doing what i'm doing. and so, therefore, i need to
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restrain myself and not do what -- accountability, reverend, and certainly the verdict and the sentence in the george floyd murder do bring about a sense of accountability, but i agree with you that there comes a time when you need to not show sympathy and emotion for the perpetrator, the police officer. i mean, judge cahill i'm sure in the past has taken a young black male who has gone astray, committed a heinous offense, and made an example of him to the community by sentencing him or her to the maximum. i'm sure that that has been done regularly. but when it comes to sentencing a police officer, they are able to find justice in that way. unfortunately we got to settle
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for 22.5 years, class substantial time. but it's the difference between being eligible for parole in 15 years versus being eligible for parole in 20 years. >> yeah. >> and so let's -- let's give ourselves some emotion. let's have some sympathy for our victims sometimes. >> absolutely. you know, congressman, let me go to this issue. your home state of georgia was returned to the forefront of the national fight over voting rights just yesterday. the doj filing charges against the state over its so-called election integrity law signed earlier this year. the senate gop voted unanimously against the for the people act this week. and mitch mcconnell says the same can be expected for the john lewis voting advancement act yet to be taken up by the senate after passing in the
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house. in addition to this suit against the georgia attorney general, merrick garland called on congress to restore section 5 of the voting rights act, which, of course, is the core of the lewis act and is, of course, unnecessary in mitch mcconnell's view. i'm basically asking what's next for the democrats, congressman? is it tactically up to the justice department and the white house for the foreseeable future? i don't know if we lost the congressman. [ audio distortion ] >> yeah, i think he's frozen. well, let me thank the congressman and we'll try to get him hooked back up at some point. let's go back to minneapolis where derek chauvin is in the first full day of his 22-year
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prison sentence for george floyd's murder. joining me now is philonise floyd, the brother of the late george floyd, and civil rights attorney, the man i refer to as the attorney general for black america, ben crump. let me start with you, philonise, first. first of all, thank you for being with us tonight. let me say that no prison sentence -- i said this yesterday to you in minneapolis. no prison sentence no matter how long can bring your brother back. but i wonder if you can share your feelings on yesterday's sentencing of derek chauvin for his murder, and how many others believe that judge peter cahill should've considered the leniency of parole after 15 years versus the 30-year maximum that chauvin was facing. but i also wonder if there's any part of you that at the same time feels vindicated as you
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stood up in heroic fashion to really stand for justice for your brother. >> it's -- it's a lot of stuff just always just running through my head. i think about my brother every day. you know, my mother, she passed before him, so all we had was each other. and for him to be murdered like that in broad daylight, tortured to death in front of kids, i'm talking about human beings, they're visible and watching a man tortured, an african-american man to death, the things that went through my head was automatic, the maximum. it was no slap on the wrist like he received. he should receive the maximum because if i would have did it, they would have put me in jail the same day. i wouldn't have had the opportunity to go home and be in my bed and be around my kids. they would have put me in prison probably a couple weeks from
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there because that was a heroic death no matter how we look at it. the world stood behind us. they all are upset, and everybody was outside protesting last night in minnesota because they all said the judge should have gave mr. chauvin the maximum. >> attorney crump, same question to you, but from a legal perspective. does this verdict and sentence send any kind of signal that you believe is enough to prop mass reform from within departments? there was historic precedence that may have yet to play out in another courtroom or misconduct investigation. still, i wonder if you already seen that as an attorney mass police resignations aside. >> reverend al, first and foremost, let me join philonise and all the floyd family in thanking you. we would not have gotten to this position without your leadership
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both spiritually and mentally helping all of us deal with these injustices in this ptsd from watching the most tragic killing of an american citizen we've ever seen over and over again. i love how you symbolize it, the most visible symbol of police brutality. that is exactly what it was, and i think it was appropriate that the judge did give him the longest sentence in the history of the state of minnesota for a police officer, number one, the longest sentence for a police officer for killing a black person in the state of minnesota, and making it the first time when a police officer a white police officer went to prison for killing a black person. with all of that said, reverend al, we still believe that, as
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philonise so eloquently said, it should've been maximum because we seem to have a dual justice system in america. we know for african-americans would have did something as heinous as that, he would have been put in prison for life, if not worse. and so we have to continue to fight to get accountability and the 7th amendment -- the george floyd justice act, which you have been saying long before george floyd, long before michael brown, reverend al, you have been calling for a police reform on the federal level so we can prevent this. so we just say thank you publicly as we do privately, rev. >> let me ask you this, attorney crump. i'd like to hear your reports of mass resignations from several police departments over the last year, leading into derek chauvin's trial and conviction.
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two u.s. cities, asheville, north carolina, and portland, oregon, are in the news as dozens of officers have resigned from those departments since last summer, allegedly over physical threats from demonstrators over the last year of protests and what many of them view as anti-police climates in the wake of george floyd's murder. a study cited in "the new york times" this week found that resignations were up to 20% in the last year. what are your thoughts on that, counsel? >> reverend al, you know, when you put it in perspective, a black person being killed in the manner george floyd was killed in, and people saying that's not right, if you're not a police officer who condones that, who thinks attorney general elson and them said during the trial that does not portray our ethics, why would you be
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offended by people standing up, exercising their first amendment constitutional rights to say we can do better than this, america. we're better than what we say in the video of george floyd. and i must say, reverend al, all the blue lives matter supporters, aren't you upset about what happened on january 6th 2021, when police officers were attacked? george floyd didn't attack any police officer, who why are you upset at philonise and all of us for saying we're standing up for justice for this man who was tortured to death? >> now, philonise, we haven't had you on plantation since you met with president biden last time to commemorate the first anniversary of your brother's brother. the police reform bill in your brother's name generated largely by his death is tied up in our senate. what are you, you as the brother of george floyd as one who's
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been out there from the united nations to the streets, what are you hoping that would happen next in terms of this george floyd bill that is pending in the senate? >> i want it to be a bill that's meaningful in his name. it needs to be a great bill, not a watered-down bill. you have too many people in america who are passing away from violence by police officers. police brutality is what people like to say, but at the same time we're human beings and we need to be able to live with each other. we need to be able to live in unity. i just want everybody to be able to have that opportunity to get along. the things that my brother went through, the things that breonna had to go through, she was still asleep when she passed away. you got to look at every corner. you have to look at -- i can just keep naming names. reverend al, you did so many
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eulogies. this george floyd justice in policing act, this is going to do meaningful things for america if they put it in, and they need to hurry up and get it. the legislation bill needs to be signed today because you have so much blood on this bill. you have breonna taylor, no-knock warrant, you have george floyd, eric garner, no choke holds. these police officers need body cameras all the time because it's always something going on. >> it's all in the bill. that's all in the bill and you demanded that. i said yesterday at our press conference that the last difference between two slices of bread and a sandwich. you have to have meat or something between the bread. we want a real justice sandwich. we don't want some slices of bread to make the senate look good. >> uh-huh. and just like you said, rev, it's all in the bill. the proof is in the videos.
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you seen these videos, the technology will not lie to you. it's getting more enhanced. rodney king technology wasn't that great, but you seen what happened. >> right. >> but they got off on that. we need to stand up and constantly apply pressure. that's the only way, because pressure busts pipes, but it makes diamonds. if we stand up together in unity, everybody around this world can live and be able to hold hands like dr. king said before. >> i keep telling you, attorney crump, he got some preacher in him, philonise floyd. i'm out of time, but i must ask you this, attorney crump. mr. derek chauvin is still facing federal charges. if convicted, he could still get more time from a federal conviction that would be added to these 22 1/2 years, is that correct? >> that's absolutely correct, reverend al.
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i want to make sure people understand how significant this charge was. it wasn't what the family wanted and what everybody wanted with the maximum. but remember, laquan mcdonald got shot 16 times in the back and the police officer was convicted of second-degree murder just like chauvin, and he only got six years. we have to remember botham jean was killed by a white policewoman and she said self-defense after she busted in his apartment. she was convicted on first-degree murder and only got convicted of ten years. so what has been accomplished in the name of justice for george floyd is historic, and we have to understand it's a journey to justice. this is only a few steps, but it's a large step. we're going to get there. we're going to get there. >> we will not stop till we get full justice for all american citizens. felony floyd and ben crump, thank you both for being with
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us. now let me go back to georgia. i think we've straightened out the audio problems with congressman hank johnson. briefly, your reaction, congressman, to the doj filing charges against the state of georgia that you serve from over its so-called election integrity law signed earlier this year. >> well, it's very significant, reverend, and it comes on the eighth anniversary of the decision that the supreme court made in shelby county versus holder where the supreme court found that there was no longer a need for the pre-clearance provisions that affected certain jurisdictions. they said that these jurisdictions were no longer discriminating and the voting because of the election of barack obama. so they threw out section 2. so, therefore, there was no pre-clearance requirement when
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georgia enacted all of its voter suppression laws, which culminated in senate bill 2020, which was passed right after the big lie was told by donald trump on january 6th. and so now, you know, these laws have gone into effect in georgia. they would not have gone into effect if section 5 had applied. so we still have a need for a section 5, and that's why we need to pass the john lewis voting rights advancement act, which mitch mcconnell -- so he's agreeing with the supreme court. now we have an even more conservative supreme court at the top of this thing, reverend al. so the lawsuit that the justice department filed has to go all the way up, will go all the way up through -- to the u.s. supreme court. and perhaps because it's based on section 2 of the voting
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rights act, it'll have a better chance. we just have to pursue it to the end. but at any rate, these changes that have been made in georgia, which are now the law, we're going to have to find a way in georgia to meet the challenge and to make sure that people still get their ballots counted, either by in-person voting where they have banned the ability of people to pass out food and water to folks standing in long lines like we have to do in the black community, or whether or not it's voting by mail where they have imposed more barriers, more unnecessary i.d. requirements to actually be able to cast your vote by mail. so, you know, this whole thing is based on the big lie. i think we'll be able to show the justice department will be able to show it in court that the reason that they're giving for imposing these new
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unnecessary restrictions which disproportionately impact black people are not based on anything other than them not winning the election. >> and clearly the big lie, as you said, was the impetus for that. thank you, congressman hank johnson, for sticking with us as we cleared up those technical difficulties. always glad you have to on. coming up on "politicsnation," the supreme court tells the ncaa it's time to pay up. and later, the gop tells the american people we want to make it harder for you to vote. i'll have that latest, and we'll discuss it with my panel. but first, my colleague richard lui with today's top news stories. richard? >> rev, a very good saturday to you. some stories we're watching for you this hour, the search for survivors continues around the clock at the florida high-rise apartment building that partially collapsed thursday. at least four people are dead. over 150 remain unaccounted for.
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teams are in surfside just a few miles away from miami beach with search dogs. personnel from israel and mexico are also there to help local emergency teams. more than 40 million americans battled extreme temperatures reaching record highs. seattle and portland brace for possible triple-digital temperatures. wildfires from drier weather and winds are also a big concern. the cdc emphasizes death from covid-19 preventable if vaccinated. all recent covid-19 deaths in the u.s. are in the unvaccinated population. in may, more than 99% of those hospitalized were not fully vaccinated. more "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton right after a short break. ♪ it's a new dawn, it's a new day... ♪ no matter how you got copd it's time to make a stand. ♪ ...and i'm feelin' good ♪ start a new day with trelegy.
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for this week's gotcha, i want to address the ncaa, the governing body for college sports in this country, and the
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losing party in the unanimous supreme court decision this week. the case was brought by former west virginia running back shawn austin who sued the ncaa for limiting the education-related benefits student athletes can receive. of course the organization will trot out the same old argument that college stars are students first and that they are compensated for their labor with scholarships. but what it doesn't mention is those scholarships can be taken away at any time for injury, underperformance, and even the departure of the coach. student athletes routinely lose scholarships if their grades suffer, even as their mandatory practice and competition schedules can make it difficult to study. meanwhile, ncaa and its member
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schools make big bucks on the backs of these athletes, particularly the men's and women's march madness basketball tournaments. the revenue for the last prepandemic games were close to $1 billion. but even those profits are dwarfed by the money coming from the gridiron in 2018. the top five conferences made a whopping $4 billion from college football. despite the risky nature of the game, under ncaa rules the players didn't see a dime. it's worth noting these most profitable college sports are dominated by black student athletes. and while many of these young athletes have the talent to play professionally, rules require college attendance first, and so they must spend some number of years risking career-ending injury, jeopardizing future professional earning power, and
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making millions of dollars for their respective universities without any compensation themselves. but the unanimous supreme court decision this week might be the beginning of the end of this particular status quo, with this rule that the ncaa was violating antitrust laws, the court gave permission for schools to compensate these athletes, as long as the compensation is related to school. even brett kavanaugh banning cash payments to athletes and setting up future showdowns between ncaa and college athletes. to the ncaa, i hope you can be gracious in defeat and display the kind of sportsmanship you demand from the college students you've exploited for so long. you've spent decades teaching us
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minus the traditional markups. ♪♪ welcome back to "politicsnation." a lot of it a lot of developments in the last 48 hours regarding voting rights and suppression across the country. so let's bring in my panel, msnbc political analyst and former aide to george w. bush, elise jordan, and cohost of "democracy-ish" and founder of woke af nation, danielle moody.
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just over 24 hours ago attorney general merrick garland dramatically announced the justice department will file a lawsuit to challenge the state of georgia's voter restrictions. do you think the doj can be effective in fighting back against this wave of republican-led suppression nationwide? >> well, you know, rev, i hope so because it's now stalled object or completely dead. we need the department of justice to step in and, frankly, merrick garland's department of justice has been giving us a very much mixed bag. on one hand, they're going to defend donald trump against the e. jean carroll case, and, on the other hand, they're going after these egregious laws based on donald trump's big lie. so when the accents of the senate being able to act as a responsibility body they're supposed to be, we need a justice department with teeth to
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go after the some 300 bills that republicans have been pushing across this country to suppress our ability to vote. >> now, elise, a lawsuit was filed on tuesday to stop the rollout of a texas senate bill signed into law by governor greg abbott that is blatant voter suppression. the law is heavily gop backed and restricts residency requirements for voters. it requires an additional form of i.d. for those that try to use a po box as an address. this targets low-income voters, particularly black and brown residents. how do you see this playing out in court? >> you know, rev, i'm glad they're challenging it. i think that democrats and their allies right now just have to have a complete press to stand
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up to these laws that could fundamentally reshape the american electorate if we let it go unchecked. i'm curious how that's going to proceed in the courtroom, though, because restricting po boxes as a place of residence, i feel like that really hurts and disproportionately impacts rural people, which texas would really be a place that's affected by that. so i think that this lawsuit is a step in the right direction, but you look at how governor abbott has called a special session july 8th and he wants to try to revisit the broader voter restrictions that he wasn't able to get through the first go-around. this is definitely the most important issue for democrats in the nation and americans in general. >> danielle, according to the voting rights, 18 states enacted anti-voter bills since the 2020 presidential election.
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how should this knowledge play into what lawmakers on capitol hill are thinking right now as they push for voting rights reform? >> i mean, we are at a seventh-stage alarm fire in the united states right now. and i think that voters, you know, based on the fact that we had this historic election and based on the fact that we're coming out of this pandemic are putting their attention elsewhere, and the reality is that if we do not secure the right to vote, then our democracy is going to cease to exist. we will not have a democracy and right now republicans are hell bent on making that true. with all of these laws, with all of these things that they are rolling out. and he won't be we have to remember this is based on a lie, alone lie that even republicans have said there was no voter suppression, there was no voter fraud. we just saw michigan republicans say that. there was no voter fraud. >> i want to push right on that, elise. in a reporter out this week, michigan debunked president
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trump's claims of widespread election fraud in the state during 2020. president biden won the state by three points, yet the same republican-led oversight committee that fact checked trump's ludicrous claims are also considering a new voter suppression bill. i mean, what's going on in michigan, elise? let me go to danielle. i think elise is frozen. danielle, tell me what you think is going on here. how do you say there's no fraud in michigan, but at the same time they're backing the gop's new suppression bill there? i think we lost both elise and danielle. let me say this. while voting is on the minds of
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americans everywhere, i'd like to look ahead and announce that national action network, along with march on and the martin luther king iii and the organization he and andrea lee will march peacefully washington and across this nation to demand the foundation of this democracy be protected. the march for voting rights will happen august 28th, and i encourage you to join us all to be there. you can go to to get information and sign up. we need to be there when they come back from summer break demanding the protection of the right to vote bipartisan. we don't care who you vote for, but we do care that you are able to o vote. we'll be right back. vote. we'll be right back. jobs for people like james and lacey and me. me, i love my work family.
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new york. and while new york city has been the center of attention, there was a huge upset in the northern part of the state. up in buffalo, democratic socialist candidate india walton defeated the four-term incumbent mayor in the democratic primary this week. since buffalo hasn't had a republican in the mayor's office in over a half century, walton's chances of being elected as the city's first mayor come november seems high. joining me now is india walton. let me start with the question about your self-definition as a dems socialist. socialism has gotten thrown around by republicans as an epithet for years. but your primary proves voters haven't fallen for their disinformation campaign. what does democratic socialism mean to you, ms. walton?
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>> thank you for asking. first, thank you for having me on, reverend sharpton. this is quite the honor as as a longtime member of national action network, i've always admired your work. thank you for putting working people and people who look like me first and giving us this platform. i think that our message in this campaign has resonated with the average buffaloen. we are working class people and one of the third mid-size city. people are tired of rich people becoming richer while working class people work harder for less. the campaign wasn't centered aren't democratic socialism per se as much as it was about the issues that are facing working class people. i'm a registered nurse. i'm a single mother of four boys. and the issues are the same issues buffalo residents are concerned about. they came out and voted and they chose progress. >> now, you were considered the underdog because of a lack of experience in politics.
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you are also, as you said, a single mom who lived in a group home and didn't finish high school. and you're a survive of domestic abuse. but you got your ged, became a registered nurse, and a representative in your union. how do you think those life experiences resonated with voters? and how will they inform your approach to governing if you are elected? >> for so long, we have been fed this fallacy that somehow in order to be considered a leader you have to live a perfect and charmed life. i believe that no one is as well quipped to lead as a person who's faced challenges. i've had challenges and problems, that means i know how to solve problems and i know how to ask for help when i need it. my style of government is going to center around people, around being a compassionate and empathetic leader in cogovernance, really giving
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people support, this city, a voice in how they're governed and our priority is going to be working class individuals and families and communities that have been long forgotten. >> now, following your victory, senators like bernie sanders and congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez tweeted their congratulations. i mean, how does it feel? i know people in buffalo chapter of national action network really admired you. but how does it feel to be recognized by two national leaders on the national stage? >> it really feels incredible. not only does it feel incredible for me as a person, but for the progressive movement to have finally a foothold in buffalo, new york, a police upstate, blue-collar town where we're often told we don't have big-city issues, but we know
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affordable housing, a quality education, infrastructure, and dealing with the relationship between our police and community are smaller upstate city issues amounts of i'm very proud that i can assist in bringing more progressive politics not only to buffalo but to western new york and upstate. >> now, on that note, let me ask you this. this was yours first run for elective office, so briefly, what did advice would you give to others thinking about public service and who might be nervous about taking such a big step? what would you say to them across the country watching you tonight? >> i would tell people who want to run for office you are worthy, you are more than enough, your experiences have led you here, and people need you. it's okay to not have all of the answers, but because we are a movement of people, we are ready and willing to help. reach out, apply for that
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endorsement, talk your current electives, and put a trusted team of advisers around you who are going to support and you push you. most importantly, stay grounded. this campaign was won by organizing and deep relationship building. that's what's deep-relationship building and that's what's most important as we move forward as a community. is keeping relationships intact, meeting people where they are, and fighting for -- for what's right. if it's the right thing to do, we have every right to do it and we don't need to be so fearful of our opposition. we can just leave into and live our values, and govern in a way that prioritizes people. and i believe that as a city, as a state, and as a country, we are ready for that. >> all right. it's a great, inspiring story, that you have given to many in our community that need it. india walton, mayoral candidate in buffalo, new york. thank you very much for being with us. up next, my final thoughts. stay with us. y final thoughts stay with us
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in jail. i -- as i led the prayer for the family, the floyd attorney crump and others, i thought about how, even though we would have wanted the maximum. i thought about how many never even saw a court proceeding, at all. and though, we got less than what we wanted, we got so much more than what we used to get. so, when people talk about this was historic. it is. only because of the sordid history of police accountability we've shown, to now. is it really too much, to ask for law-enforcement officers to obey the law? shouldn't that be expected, by all americans? to think, as i said earlier in the show, that there are police officers resigning because they want to have the right not to be held accountable.
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have we really gotten to the place where people feel that they are the law unto themselves? and isn't that an issue that ought to concern everyone, black, white, of every background? we must have a nation, where we do not have police decide what is right and wrong. they ought to be enforcing what has, already, been determined to be right. and punished, if they do wrong. we'll be right back. right back. s comfort zone dan... dan: okay, i don't know where the hole for this is. or fourth time streaming that period drama dan... dan: you just made me miss her best line, dan: so now i'm going to have to start it again. even insisted he didn't need directions dan. dan: okay, i'm not lost. i'm exploring. dan: that said, do you know where i am? from select gas, streaming, travel and more earn 5% cash back that automatically adjusts to your top eligible spend category, up to $500 spent each billing cycle. ♪ sometimes you wanna go ♪
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that does it for me. thanks for watching. i will see you back here tomorrow, at 5:00 p.m., eastern, for another live hour of "politics nation." my colleague, alicia menendez, picks up our news coverage now. thank you so much, reverend sharpton. welcome to "american voices." i'm alicia menendez. and we begin with breaking news from president biden. he is now working to clarify his position on the infrastructure package. he is trying to work out with congress. in a new statement, the president says he is behind it, quote, without reservation or hesitation. it's an effort to walk back his suggestion, earlier-this week, that he would veto the bill, unless congress, also, passed a larger package to expand the social-safety net. joining us, now, nbc news white house correspondent, monica alba. monica, what message is president biden sending to each party about the infrastructure negotiations?


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